The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Retire to a rural retreat after the day’s done

Bengal Shrachi Housing Development Ltd (BSHDL) is planning a retirement village in New Town, Rajarhat to cater to the “special needs” of old age.

“It’s a long-cherished dream and a social commitment to the people of Calcutta if we get the land and the green signal,” BSHDL managing director Rahul Todi told reporters on Thursday. Todi was unveiling the group’s new housing project, Greenwood Nook, coming up on the EM Bypass near the Ruby General Hospital.

The company, a joint venture with the West Bengal Housing Board, has already approached housing minister Gautam Deb for land in Rajarhat to set up the retirement village. “Ideally, we would like to do the project on a large scale, so that we can build low, and 100 acres would be great. But I guess we can even kick off with 25 to 50 acres,” Todi said.

The property, which picks its concept from the numerous retirement villages in Australia — “the unofficial retirement-resort capital of the world” — will also be built on the joint-sector model. “We perceive a big NRI market for this kind of a product, since this is a completely neglected segment,” Todi asserted.

The retirement village will have a library, a meditation hall, landscaped gardens, in-house kitchens and housekeeping, all housed in one or two-storeyed buildings. “We can do the village in the HIG-MIG-LIG module to cater to three different socio-economic strata and ensure a continuous flow of people,” observed company vice-president D. Sanyal.

“Some of the Australian retirement villages are built around golf courses and run like resorts. If we are allotted sufficient land, we can also look at that formula. The village will have a lot of self-employment opportunities, since the idea is to keep the inhabitants involved,” Todi explained. BSHDL is considering all three options — buying, leasing and timeshare units — to sell the property.

The company has also sought land from the government for an industrial estate of non-polluting units “within a radius of 25 km from the city centre”.

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